From Kids in Queens to Boldface Names: Andrew Cuomo & Chris Cuomo's Journeys to the Spotlight

How two brothers from Queens, New York, grew to become a prominent politician and an award-winning journalist

01 of 19

Meet the Cuomos

New York's 52nd Governor, Mario Cuomo and family pose following a private swearing-in ceremony at the Executive Mansion. Left to right: Son-in-law, Robert Perpignano and Cuomo's daughter, Margaret, daughters Madeline and Maria, Governor Cuomo, wife Matilda, and sons, Andrew and Christopher.

Andrew and Chris Cuomo, two of five siblings, were born to parents Mario Cuomo and Matilda Raffa Cuomo in Queens, New York.

Their father, a lawyer turned three-term governor of New York, was deemed a "liberal beacon" by the New York Times before dying of heart failure in 2015 at the age of 82.

Their mother, a dedicated advocated for women, children and families, was inducted into the National Women's Hall of Fame for leading several initiatives, including establishing the New York State Mentoring Program, the nation's first school-based one-to-one mentoring program.

02 of 19

Party of Five

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo/Instagram

The elder couple's enduring marriage was described by Sandy Frucher, a friend of the family of 40 years, as one of "the greatest love stories of all time" and "one of the great partnerships of all time," per New York Daily News.

The Cuomos had five children: Andrew, Maria, Margaret, Madeline and Christopher.

Andrew posted this throwback in February 2019, writing, "With some of my siblings celebrating our youngest sister Madeline's graduation. Oh the 80s…"

03 of 19

Passing the Torch

Andrew Cuomo
Andrew Cuomo/Instagram

As the second oldest of his siblings, Andrew followed in his father's footsteps by graduating from law school, then entering politics.

04 of 19

Early Days

Andrew Cuomo, Mario Cuomo
Ozier Muhammad/Newsday/AP Photo

After graduating from Fordham University in 1979 and Albany Law School in 1982, Andrew managed his father's gubernatorial campaign, then headed up the transition committee once Mario was governor-elect.

According to the now-governor's website, Andrew later served as an advisor to his father while his father was in office, taking a salary of $1 a year.

By shadowing his father and working closely with him early on, Andrew learned first-hand that "government was the vehicle to make change and do justice."

05 of 19

Marriage to Kerry Kennedy

Kerry Kennedy and Andrew Cuomo Waving

While growing his career, Andrew married Kerry Kennedy, a human rights activist, writer and daughter of Robert F. Kennedy and Ethel Skakel in 1990. They split in 2005.

Kerry is the niece of late President John F. Kennedy and Sen. Ted Kennedy.

06 of 19

Cuomo's Daughters

Andrew Cuomo

During their marriage, the former couple also became parents to three daughters: Michaela and twins Cara and Mariah.

07 of 19

Andrew and Sandra

Andrew Cuomo & Sandra Lee
Andrew Cuomo and Sandra Lee in 2016. Amy Sussman/AP/Shutterstock

The summer following his split from his ex-wife, Andrew met celebrity chef Sandra Lee at a party in The Hamptons.

"I remember her being - I don't want to say infatuated, because it sounds too schoolgirlish - but she was taken with him," Lee's friend Colleen Schmidt told the Times in 2010.

In the spirit of other first ladies - a title she may have only held unofficially, as New York's "first girlfriend" - Lee forged her own causes. She is a founding member of the L.A. chapter of UNICEF and has supported efforts to end childhood hunger, among other issues.

The couple split after 14 years together in 2019.

08 of 19

HUD in Charge ...

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Andrew Cuomo
Douglas Graham/Congressional Quarterly/Getty

After spending time working with his father, Andrew stepped out on his own to create his political legacy.

President Bill Clinton appointed Andrew to serve as the Housing and Urban Development Secretary after the 1996 election.

09 of 19

... to Attorney General ...

Andrew Cuomo
Richard Drew/AP/Shutterstock

Then in 2006, he was elected as the New York State Attorney General.

10 of 19

... to Governor of New York

Andrew Cuomo (L) is sworn in as Governor of New York at the Executive Mansion by Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Jonathan Lippman (3rd R) December 31, 2010 in Albany, New York
Nathaniel Brooks-Pool/Getty

On Dec. 31, 2010, Andrew was sworn in as governor of New York at the Executive Mansion by Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Jonathan Lippman in Albany, New York.

Andrew's then-girlfriend Sandra Lee, his three daughters and his parents were in attendance at the ceremony.

11 of 19

The Youngest Cuomo

Mario Cuomo speaks at a fundraiser in Queens as his son Christopher Cuomo (Chris Cuomo
Jerry Engel/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty

As his father and older brother forged their own successful career paths, Chris, the youngest of Mario and Matilda's five children, was initially expected to do the same.

Here, a very young Chris is seen looking up at his father while Mario speaks at a fundraiser in Queens in 1977.

12 of 19

Off to Law School

New York’s First Lady Matilda Cuomo with her sons Chris Cuomo, left, and Andrew Cuomo during Andrew’s birthday party in New York City. December 19, 1994.
Luiz C. Ribeiro/New York Post Archives /(c) NYP Holdings, Inc. via Getty

Despite his ambitions to become a journalist, Chris was pushed by his father to go to law school.

"My father was a very strong personality, and my father basically suggested forcefully to Chris that he should be a lawyer," Andrew said during a 2020 press conference about his younger brother. "It was a different time and a different place."

Chris graduated from Yale University before graduating from Fordham University School of Law in 1995.

13 of 19

Marriage to Cristina Greeven

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo/Instagram

Chris married Cristina Greeven, also a native New Yorker and founder and CEO of the health and wellness platform PURIST, in November 2001.

"If this match between Chris and Cristina is not made in heaven, it's certainly made in the vicinity near heaven," Mario Cuomo told the New York Daily News at the time. "They are both bright, sincere and intelligent people."

14 of 19

Cuomo Kids

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo and family. Chris Cuomo/Instagram

The went on to have three children: Bella, Mario and Carolina.

"Boys on the outside. Two of the beauties in the middle. Family life is good," Chris captioned this photo he posted in May 2015.

15 of 19

Early Days on GMA ...

Ja Rule, Ashanti, Chris Cuomo and Diane Sawyer attend ABC's "Good Morning America" show on June 6, 2008 at Bryant Park in New York
Dimitrios Kambouris/WireImage

Once he transitioned into journalism, Chris' earliest broadcast career jobs included an anchor spot on Good Morning America.

Here he is on stage with co-anchor Diane Sawyer after performers Ja Rule and Ashanti hit the stage in N.Y.C.'s Bryant Park in 2008.

16 of 19

... to 20/20 ...

Ida Mae Astute/Walt Disney Television via Getty

He was also a co-anchor on 20/20, during which he interviewed several prominent figures, including music legend Tony Bennett.

17 of 19

... to CNN's New Day ...

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo/Instagram

He also co-anchored CNN's New Day, the network's flagship weekday morning program, alongside Kate Bolduan before officially leaving his post in 2018 to host his own show.

18 of 19

... to Cuomo Prime Time

Chris Cuomo
Chris Cuomo/Instagram

Earning a News Emmy during his time at Good Morning America and receiving Polk and Peabody awards for his team news coverage over the years had set him up to anchor his own CNN show, Cuomo Prime Time, by 2018.

19 of 19

Leading During the Pandemic

Andrew Cuomo and Chris Cuomo on the daily New York Coronavirus briefing
Andrew Cuomo/Twitter

As the coronavirus outbreak transitioned into a pandemic in early March 2020, the two brothers had a chance to work together, while separately leading the charge with their own respective audiences.

The governor has been giving daily mid-afternoon press conferences on how the worldwide outbreak has been progressing, while the CNN anchor briefs the American people at night during his prime-time slot. However, things got personal once Chris announced that he was diagnosed with COVID-19 on March 31.

Since then, the two brothers have each made appearances on each other's platforms, simultaneously entertaining audiences with their brotherly banter.

"Rule one is never hit a brother when he's down and you're literally in the basement," Andrew joked with Chris at an April 2020 press conference, referencing Chris moving his CNN show to his basement as he recovers from the virus.

"If I were you, now's the time to strike," Chris jokingly shot back.

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